The Argentine believes his side must recreate their previous displays against their arch-rivals if they are to beat them and urged his players not to give up on the league
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino says a good performance from his side will see them beat Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final, but insists the club cannot be the best in the world every year.
The Catalan giants crashed out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage after losing 2-1 on aggregate to Atletico Madrid, whom they trail by four points in La Liga with five games left to the season.
As the Blaugrana’s best chance of lifting silverware this term comes from their cup final meeting with Madrid, Martino feels his side have enough in them to beat their arch-rivals, but says fans have to remember they won’t always be at top of world football.
“If we play well, we’ll win,” Martino told AS. “This team knows how to play well and win. We’re demanding something we’ve already seen from these players.
“I know what the fans expect from this team, but they need to understand you won’t be the best in the world every year. These footballers are a before and after in the history of this sport.
“We’ve got to get back to moments from the two Clasicos we’ve already played. The start of the last one, when we knew how to suffer and hold on. We need to recreate these moments in the match.
“I’m facing the possibility of winning a trophy with the lads. In this final I need to be part of everything they’ve given. We won in the Super Cup on the back of other people’s work. To win we need to be at our footballing best.”
The Argentine dismissed talk that his side need a victory in order to save their season and stressed they cannot give up on the league as they are still in with a chance of winning it.
“I don’t think it’s revenge for the league and the Champions League. It’s a trophy, the final, and it’s there to be won. We need to fix things that have happened, but we’ve already suffered for what’s happened.
“I don’t want to talk about what didn’t happen or give extra importance to what we’re doing now. This is the final of the Copa. I won’t drown out how we feel about the other two competitions.
“We can’t afford not to be up there, in case they [Atleti and Madrid] slip up.